Friday, November 12, 2010

PNG Eats

On my recent trip to PNG, I ate lots and lots of food.  Even though the snorkelling was by no means strenuous (and only for a few hours a day) I snacked like crazy.  And, given the availability of food in the shops and the market over there, things were pretty carb-heavy.  In other words, I was kind of in heaven.

There was no soy milk around, and since it was a short trip I didn't bother worrying about it. (When I went before, for two months, I brought up some powder which was gross, but then found some asceptic soymilks from Vietnam for sale in the store.)  Breakfast, then, consisted of toast or oats.  Both with lots of bananas.

Most days we went diving at 11 or so, and had a big mid-morning snack before going.  Avocado toast, anyone?

Lunch was either two-minute noodles or sandwiches.  Then for an afternoon snack I often had Ryvitas with peanut butter, or with vegemite.

We got through a few chocolate cakes for afternoon and evening snackage.

And we cooked dinner every night, except for one when we went over to the resort for a rather disappointing meal.  Our kitchen was a bit small, and the stove, pans and utensils weren't wonderful, but we managed to produce a few good meals (and a few mediocre ones).
The first night, Andy cooked up a bunch of pasta with a tomatoey-sweet potatoey-olivey sauce.  It was an interesting combination - the flavours were good but the texture of sweet potato with pasta was a little funny.  (The photos of our dinners were hard to get, because it was so dark by 6pm and the lights in the house were not great, so apologies for the fuzziness.)

I had brought the recipe for Jamaican Cook Up Rice from The Tropical Vegan, so we made that with some changes.  We didn't have any fresh herbs, and barely any spices, but this coconutty rice & black eyed peas was good anyways.  The pumpkin greens we stirred through were a winner; the sweet potato had gone off and made me want to gag.  We picked it out and somehow managed to enjoy the meal anyways (being in PNG makes me a lot less precious about that sort of thing).

We had two noodle stir-fries.  One, with a packet of Ma Po sauce, made our mouths tingle in a chemically way.  Another was much better, made with simply sweet chilli and soy sauce, with eggplant, pumpkin and a green that looked like watercress.

The rice in PNG is good.

Especially with a yummy chickpea stew on top.  This was coconut milk, tomatoes, and curry powder and was surprisingly good.  On the side we had a giant salad, and some more pumpkin greens sauteed in liquid seasoning.

And we found a new favourite food in plantains.  We tried two varieties while we were over there - kiau kiau were skinny like regular bananas, and there was a fatter, starchier variety as well.  I fried them up, tostone style.  One night we had them with refried beans & corn.

Another night they went with a veggie & black eyed pea stew on rice (and a chocolate cake cooling in the background).

All up, we ate pretty well.  I'll be back soon to show you some of the activities I spent all those calories on...


Carissa said...

I am glad that you had a nice trip. I always hate that when they don't offer a milk alternative. I love avocado toast!

dreaminitvegan said...

You did well by making do with what they had. Your meals look really good. It's nice to hear you enjoyed your trip.

Hannah said...

Apart from the off-sweet potato, this all looks wonderful, Theresa! I've had a hankering for plantains recently, which is quite bizarre as the only time I've had them was in chip-form in the States. What I wouldn't give for you to fry me up a plate ;)

Coconutty chickpeas... I think you'd chosen my dinner tonight for me!

Mandee said...

Hee! I love the shot of the rice and a thumbs-up!

Looks like you had some delicious food while you were away. You can never go wrong with avo on toast!

Vaala ◪ said...

Good hearty food for adventuring. I love the photo of the 'good' rice!

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

That all looks quite good.

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